Mountaineers not giving up

HARARE - Domestic franchise cricket champions Mountaineers are optimistic that they will turn the tables around in defence of the two titles they won last season.

The Manicaland side won both the domestic premier first class competition, Logan Cup and the Pro 50 championships last season under the stewardship of former coach Gary Brent.

The former Test player became only the third coach to win the prestigious Logan Cup after Dave Houghton’s double with Matebeleland Tuskers while Heath Streak won it once with the same Tuskers side.

Mountaineers occupy second place in both formats behind early pacesetters, Matebeleland Tuskers.

The Bulawayo side is looking forward to emulate the Mutare counterparts by winning a double this season while at the same maintaining their Logan Cup hegemony to a record four times.

Mashonaland Eagles and Mid West Rhinos sit in third and fourth place respectively in both formats.

Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura said defending both titles would be a great achievement.

“We could have done a lot better in the Logan Cup but I think we will take our second place in both formats as a motivational factor and hope to pick up our form when the games resume in January,” Makunura told the Daily News.

“Our pre-season preparations started a bit late compared to other franchises but I’m happy things are beginning to shape up now.”

Makunura is hopeful that the return of injured seamer Donald Tiripano will boost his bowling attack in their quest to defend the two titles. Tiripano missed the first round of games due to a fracture.

“It’s challenging given the fact that we will be missing some of our players throughout the season but it can be done,” he said.

“Hopefully, come 14 January Donald will be fit and that will go a long way in strengthening our bowling attack.”

Makunura also doubles up as Zimbabwe A coach. He would be expected to lead a Zimbabwe A select side against the visiting Canadian side for four limited overs matches as part of the national team’s World Cup preparations.

The North Americans are scheduled to arrive in the country on January 3.

The first game is set for January 6 with the last match being played o January after which the visitors will depart the following day.

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